British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

November 22, 2010 09:00 ET

BC Safety Authority: Will You Ride a Chairlift This Winter?

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2010) - As the first flakes fall on the mountains, skiers and snowboarders begin to have visions of playing in powder. The BC Safety Authority (BCSA) would like to remind snow lovers to stay safe on the slopes this season by riding chairlifts correctly. Every year, accidents and injuries can easily be avoided if skiers and riders follow lift safety rules and pay attention to signage.

BC statistics prove that the behavior of skiers and snowboarders on chairlifts is just as important as their behavior on the slopes. Lift-related incidents and injuries in BC are commonly caused by inappropriate and unruly passenger behavior. In fact, passenger behavior is – by far – the major source of lift-related injuries in the province. Many of the resulting injuries are serious, and all of them are preventable. So far in 2010, 47% of 64 lift-related incidents resulted from passenger behavior.

According to Passenger Ropeways Safety Manager, Jason Gill, "Safety signs and rules are designed by experts who understand the capacity and function of the equipment you are going to use. Have respect for the height of the chairlift and power of the machine you are riding. Rules about riding chairlifts exist to keep people safe so they can continue to have fun and enjoy the season."

The Safety Authority's suggestions to keep your ski lift experience safe include:

  • Reading safety and instructional signs and following the directions they provide before riding any chairlift.
  • Not bouncing, turning around, reaching out or trying to make equipment adjustments while riding chairlifts.

"Following the instructions of lift attendants, keeping your equipment secure and sitting back against the backrest with the restraining device lowered while in motion are all ways you can keep yourself and people around you safe," says Gill.

The British Columbia Safety Authority keeps people safe by mandating the safe installation and use of technical equipment. As the province's delegated authority, BCSA administers safety standards and enforces compliance. It also issues permits and licences, educates, and conducts onsite inspections in high-risk situations. 

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